Chapter 25 : Human Polyomaviruses

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Human Polyomaviruses, Page 1 of 2

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The first human polyomaviruses were isolated in 1971 from immunocompromised patients. Very recently, two new human polyomaviruses, KI virus and WU virus, were independently detected by molecular methods in respiratory tract secretions. The major capsid protein, VP1, accounts for more than 70% of the virion mass and has a molecular mass of 39 to 44 kDa. BKV nephropathy (BKVN) has recently been recognized as an important cause of progressive graft dysfunction and graft loss in patients with renal allografts. It is the most common viral infection affecting renal allografts, with an incidence of ~8% and graft loss ranging from 10 to >80%. BK virus (BKV) and JC virus (JCV) are reactivated in some women during normal pregnancy. In a prospective study, cytopathology in cells obtained from urine sediment suggested JCV and BKV infections in 3.2% of pregnant women. This was most frequently observed in the last trimester of pregnancy. In another study, 16% of the women showed an antibody rise to one or the other virus during pregnancy. An etiological role of BKV in hemorrhagic cystitis has been proposed for late-onset hemorrhagic cystitis. The majority of patients with BKV and JCV infections are asymptomatic and do not require treatment. There are no antiviral drugs with proven efficacy against human polyomaviruses. The mainstay of treatment for BKV nephropathy is the judicious reduction, change in drugs, or discontinuation of immunosuppressive therapy.

Citation: Viscidi R, Shah K. 2009. Human Polyomaviruses, p 417-423. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch25
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Image of FIGURE 1

Schematic of the JCV genome. The polyomavirus genome is a closed, circular double-stranded DNA molecule approximately 5 kb in size. The early mRNA is transcribed in a counterclockwise direction and encodes the spliced T-Ag and the unspliced t-Ag genes. The late mRNA is transcribed in a clockwise direction and encodes the late genes, agnoprotein (Ag), VP1, VP2, and VP3. The genome is in black, the mRNAs are in gray arrows, and the genes are in black arrows. The noncoding regulatory region is located between the start of the early and late mRNAs, and the locations of the tandem 98-bp repeats are indicated by black diamonds.

Citation: Viscidi R, Shah K. 2009. Human Polyomaviruses, p 417-423. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch25
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Image of FIGURE 2

Prevalence of antibodies to BKV (♦) and JCV () in children (1 to 13 years of age) and pregnant women (14 to 31 years of age). (Adapted from Stolt et al., 2003.)

Citation: Viscidi R, Shah K. 2009. Human Polyomaviruses, p 417-423. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch25
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